Cape Governor Tulbagh & Council resolve (1755) to prevent improperly employed ‘Hottentot’ Women from frequenting Cape Town’s Taphouses during Smallpox outbreak …

21 October 1755

Dingsdag den 21: october 1755.

‘S voormiddags alle præsent: …

… Dewijl Seedert weynigen Tijd is ingekropen het misbruijk dat veele Hottentotse vrouws persoonen ofte Sogen: Bastaard Hottentottinnen in Steede van bij ordentelijke ingeseetenen te dienen, gelijk bevoorens gebruykelijk is geweest, Sig de Vryheijd hebben aengemaatigt op zig zelven te gaan woonen, en alsoo door haar:[e]n ongereegelde en vuijle Leevens wijze, niet alleen veel overlast aen andere goede ingeseetenen, maar in ‘t bijsonder groote Stank en onreijnigheijd in deese plaats komen te veroorsaeken, gelijk by de onlangs geregeert hebbende Siekte der kinderpokken is ondervonden, dat van de voorseijde Bastaard Hottentottinnen tot agt à Thien toe te Saamen gewoond hebbende, deselve genoegsaem door Stank en onreynigheijd quamen te vergaan,

So dat daardoor onvermeydelijk grooter onheijlen Souden hebben moeten ontstaan, by aldien daar teegens niet met haer ten Coste deeser Diaconij te doen plaetsen en geneesen, was voorsien geworden; waarby nog komt, dat veele van dat gespuijs Sig in de Taphuijsen of Sogen: Schaggeryen ophoudende, in deselve vooral een Schandeleus en ergerlijk Leven komen te voeren; heeft men dierhalven tot weeringe van voorsz: ongeregeltheeden noodsaakelijk geoordeelt en dienvolgens beslooten om by affixie van Billietten te interdiceeren dat van nu af aan geene Bastaerd Hottentottinnen Sig Sullen mogen verstouten, om direct of indirect op haar Selven te gaan woonen of eenige bysondere huijshoudingen te hebben veel min Sig in Schaggerijen of Taphuijsen op te houden, maar dat deselve in teegendeel in ‘t vervolg niet anders dan alleen bij ordentelijke Europische ingeseetenen ter deeser plaetse Sullen mogen inwoonen en getollereert werden, op pæne dat so wanneer en eenige dier Hottentottinnen Sal bevinden, ‘t zy op haer Selven dan wel in een Taphuijs te woonen, deselve inmediaat Sonder forme van proces Strengelijk gelaarst, en de Tappers of waarneemers dusdaniger Taphuijsen, dewelke zig verstouten diergelijke Vrouwspersoonen in haare huysen te doen inwoonen, bovensdien in een boete van Een hondert Ryxd:s te verdeelen a Usu Sullen werden gecondemneert.

Ende nademaal men ook komt te ondervinden, dat veele deeser in woonderen teegens de dies weegens aen deselve door Burgerraaden gedane aanmaaning, So wel haer eijgene huijsen als de geene waar over zij de administratie hebben, by Continuatie geslooten houden, waardoor de quaade Lugt die door de voorsz Siekte der kinderpokken in de huijsen is geraekt, daarin beslooten blyvende, bij deese warme daagen ligtelijk een Nieuwe besmetting Soude kunnen komen te veroorsaaken;

Is hierom dienstig geagt dat aen een ijgelijk Sonder onderscheijd insgelijx by Billietten Sal werden geordonneert, om Soo wel van haare eygene als de onderderselver opsigt Staende huijsen by ‘t minste bequaame weer, dagelyx de deuren en vengsters open te Setten, ten eijnde die wooningen van de daarin Sijnde Schadelijke Lugt mogen gesuijvert raaken, als meede om ‘t bedde goed dat in de meergem:[elde] Siekte is gebruijkt geworden, behoorlijk te doen reynigen en uyt lugten, op pœne dat de geene die omtrent het een of ander nalaatig Sullen werden bevonden een boete van Vijfftig Rijxd:[aalder]s, om ook volgens gewoonte verdeelt te werden, Sullen komen te verbeuren …


… Aldus geresolveert ende gearresteerd In ‘t Casteel de goede Hoop Ten dage en Jaare voorsz:
R Tulbagh
S Swellengrebel
P: v Reede van Oudshoorn
I: Meinertzhagen
R S Allemann
N:s Heijning
Corn:s Eelders
Mij Present O M Bergh Adj:t Secret:s

Source

Cape Archives (CA): C 133, pp. 416-430.

Khoe woman and infant – sketch by Lady Anne Barnard (née Lindsay; 8 December 1750 – 6 May 1825)

Infants baptized and Couples married during Joan de Voocht’s office as Dominee at the Cape of Good Hope (26 February 1666 – 21 November 1666)

Infants baptized during Joan de Voocht’s office as Dominee at the Cape of Good Hope (26 February 1666 – 21 November 1666)

den 7 maart 1666 is gedoopt van Ed.[ele] Comp.[agnie] slavinnen een dochter genaemt Catharina, de moeder heet … [name omitted]

den 21 dito een doghter van Jacob Huyssor by Janniken Duyssinck zyn huysvrouw wiert genaemt Jacomina : als getuygen stonden Jan Anthonij Haemste, Paulus du Bois en Catharina Bel [?Kel]

On this Sunday, Rev. Philippus Baldaeus (1632-1731), visiting en route from Batavia, refuses to baptise a slave child brought forward by his mother for the sacrament, reprimanding Cape officials for allowing parents who are not Christians to have their children baptised and disregarding the holiness of the sacrament. Wagenaer and Councillors rejoin: that they had consulted Commissioner Overtwater and Rev. Petrus Casier [Cassier / Kasier] (in 1663 and 1664 respectively) and had been told that if slave owners accepted responsibility for giving children of their slaves a Christian education, baptism is allowed. Did not the patriach Abraham have every one in his house circumcised, including his slaves, and had not the baptism taken the place of baptism? It was further explained that the Cape’s 1st minister, Joan van Arckel, had baptised every slave in the settlement. His successor, Johannes de Voocht, had followed his example. A meeting of the Council of Policy, resolves the next day that the rejected slave child in question is to be baptised the following Sunday (vide baptismal entry (28 March 1666), as would slave children in future, and that Rev. Baldaeus would be informed of this [A.J. Böeseken, Slaves and Free Blacks at the Cape  1658-1700 , p. 27)].     

den 28 dito [maart] is gedoopt een soon van Een van de Ed.[ele] Comp.[agnie] slavinnen en is genaemt Andries  de moeder heet Susanna [bandiet exiled ex Batavia Susanna Een Oor van Bengale]

den 25 april een doghter van Joannes de Nyssen en Catharina Herbert zyn huysvrouw wiert genaemt Elisabeth Louisa  [?] als getuygen stonden den H[ee]r. Jacob Cau, den H[ee]r. Zacharias Wagenaer, Juffr.[ouw] v:[an] Cau [Anna Machtelt van Coevoerden], Juffr:[ouw] v:[an] Coon

den 11 juin een soontje van Hendrik van Suurwaerden en Grietje Franssen Meeckhof zyn huysvr.[rouw]  wiert genaemt Meyndert  de getuygen waren Wouter Mostert en Catharina Croons

den 15 august:[us] een doghteren van Abraham Schut en Johanna Aaqtsyborg zyn huysvrouw: wiert genaemt Margareta [sic] als getuygen stonden den heer Zacharias Wagenaer, Juffr.[ouw] Lydia Lacus, Juffr.[ouw] Catharina Boccaert

den 12 sept:[ember] een soontje van S[ieu]r Pieter Meerhoff en Eva syn huysvrouw wiert genaemt Solomon  de getuygen werd Lydia Lacus, Joannes Coon en Pieter Blankenbergh

[Pieter Meerhoff from Copenhagen, Sjaelland (Zealand), Denmark (born c. 1637). Engaged (26 April 1664) & marries (2 June 1664) Goringhaicona (Strandloper) Krotoa baptised Eva born Robben Island (c. 1643) and baptised Eva (3 May 1662).  She is engaged (26 April 1664) & marries (2 June 1664) Pieter Meerhoff (from Copenhagen). Prior to marriage, already  mother of two children: Jacob and Pieternella (later Mrs Daniel Zaaijman), paternity of whom is later ascribed to Pieter Meerhoff. Vide infra baptismal entry (March 1669) for the rescued Hottentot girl named Florida.

een zoontje van Hans Ras en zyn huysvr:[ouw] [Catharina Hustings: (from Lübeck):] wiert genaemt Nicolaes  tot getuygen stonden Maiken Taeleman en Wouter Mostaert

twee slaevins kinderen van Albert Diemert [sic]  wierdsz genaemt Pieter, Maertha onder getuygen van haar vrou en meester

[Children of Christina van Angola (vide Transporten en Schepenkennis (22 April 1662): 

  • Pieter Brasman van de Caep.
  • Martha van de Caap, alias Maritje van de Caap, Maria Pieters:  & Martha Martense / Martenze who has a voorzoon by Christoffel Henning & marries (27 April 1687) Pieter Hillekes Huijtema (from Netherlands)].

een slavinnes kint van Joannes Coon gedoopt onder getuychene van den heer en wiert genaemt Maria [Maria Lozee]

den12 sep[tember] gedoopt een slavinne kint van Jan Reyniersz: onder getuychen van hom en syn vrouw en wiert genaemt Catharijn

den 20 oct.[ober] een Comp:[agnie] slavinne kind de moeder Gratia genaemt Herman tot getuygen stont een in m[ans] persoon voor den C[ompagnie]z: P[olitieke]Raadt

den november een dochter van Matthys Koymans [Cooymans / Coeimans] en Cathrijn [sic] syn huysvrouw wiert genaemt Anna de getuygen werden Leendert de Klerck, Joan van As, Juff.[rouw] Coon en Maryke Tielemans:

den 14 dito een soontie van Hendrick Rynsen en Barbar [sic]  Geens [Geems] syn huysvrouw wiert genaemt Leendert. Den peet was Jannetie Ferdinandes [sic]

den 21 dito nae gedane belydenisse is gedoopt een bejaert persoon en wiert genaemt Anika  huysvrouw van eenen Anthoni

Breakdown

White children

boys = 3

  • Myndert van Suurwaerden [dies young?]
    • Nicolaas Ras [marries Cape]
    • Leendert Reynste

girls =4

  • Jacomina Huyssor [en passant]
  • Elisabeth Louisa de Nyssen [en passant]
  • Margaretha Schut [leaves Cape]
  • Anna Coiemans [leaves Cape]

Company Slave children

boys = 2

  • Andries
  • Herman

girls  = 1

  • Catharina

Private slave children

boys = 1

  • Pieter [Harmensz: Brasman] [manumitted 1694] [banished]

girls = 3

  • Martha [Marta Martens:] [marries (1stly) de facto Christoffel Henningh; marries (2ndly) Pieter Hillikes Huijtema
  • Catharina
  • Maria

adult male slave = 0

adult female slave = 1

  • Anika [van Bengale] [marries Anthonij de Later van Japan]

BASTARDS

           boys = 1                           

  • Solomon Meerhoff [dies unmarried on Mauritius]

girls = 0

Total    = 15 children & 1 adult

Couples married during Joan de Voocht’s office as Dominee at the Cape of Good Hope (26 February 1666 – 21 November 1666)

9 May 1666:

Wilhelm Lodewyck Widerholt met Geertruida Myntinghs:

Zacharias Wagenaer (1614-1668) – Cape of Good Hope’s 2nd VOC Commander (1662-1666)

by Mansell Upham

Today 352 years ago – 12 October 1668 – death in Amsterdam of the Cape of Good Hope`s 2nd VOC Commander (1662-1666):

Zacharias Wagner / Wagenaar / Wagenaer / Wagener (1614-1668) alias Der Donnerman (from Dresdner Neustadt [Dresden, Free State of Saxony, Germany])

A talented artist like his famous father, he travels – in the space of 35 years – over four continents as clerk, illustrator, merchant, member of the Court of Justice, opperhoofd of Deshima [Dejima, Nagasaki, Japan] and only German commander of the Cape colony (1662-1666) …

He goes (1662) to the Cape of Good Hope with his (previously thricely-wedded) aristocrat wife Maria Françoise Auxbrebis (1609-1666), step-daughter Maria de Bucquoi  / de Bucquoy, widow of Cornelis (Coen) Verburg, his Japanese slave Anthonij van Japan plus four other  slaves and two horses; where he succeeds (6 May 1662) Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677) as commander.

While at the Cape, he:

  • asks Batavia (December 1663) to send pottery from Persia;
  • negotiates with the Cape Khoena for cattle for the VOC;
  • abstains from further expeditions pursuing policy to refrain from interfering in tribal disputes, keeping strictly neutral;
  • overrules (correctly) an en passant interfering Reformed minister the Rev. Philippus Baldeus who objects to the baptism of slave infants;
  • appoints Georg Friedrich Wreede – author of the 1st compendium of the Dutch and Hottentot language – as commander in Mauritius;
  • procures and supervises the iconic baptism (1662) and marriage of the Cape`s 1st indigene Krotoa of the Goringhaicona aka Eva Meerhoff (c. 1643-1674);
  • lays, as one of five people, one of the five foundation stones of the Castle of Good Hope (started August 1665);
  • oversees the construction of the waterbasin, supplying ships with fresh water, hospital, school and church;
  • buries (1666) his beloved wife Maria Auxbrebis (1609-1666)  inside the new Castle  …
  • resigns (27 September 1666), returning to Batavia with step-daughter Maria Verburg;
  • emancipates (1666) his Japanese slave Anthonij de Later van Japan and his concubine Annica / Anieka van Bengale and their two children Abraham and Elisabeth;
  • sells (1666) Indian slaves (Louis van Bengale, Willem van Bengale) …

Sadly, too often the myopic lens of earlier and current historians, academics, politicians, and ideologues unfairly eclipse him by giving undue prominence, perhaps, to mostly Jan van Riebeeck and the Van der Stels père et fils

Zacharias Wagenaar / Wagenaer / Wagener (1614-1668)

2nd VOC commander at the Cape of Good Hope (1662-September 1666)

Born Dresdner Neustadt [Dresden, Saxony] (1614).

Dies Amsterdam (12 October 1668).

Clerk, illustrator, merchant, member of Court of Justice, opperhoofd of Deshima [Dejima] and only German commander of the Cape of Good Hope.

In 35 years travels over four continents.

Son of Saxonian judge and established artist.

Travels (1633) from Dresden via Hamburg to Amsterdam working for Willem Jansz: Blaeu (1571-1638)

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571 – 21 October 1638), also abbreviated to Willem Jansz. Blaeu – Dutch cartographer, atlas maker and publisher. Along with his son Johannes Blaeu (1596 – 1673), considered one of the notable figures of the Dutch Golden Age (16th & 17th centuries)

Within a year enlists (1634) as soldier in armed forces of Dutch West India Company (WIC) to serve in New Holland [Dutch Brazil].

Three years later (1637), hired as writer by colony’s newly-arrived governor, Count John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen (17 June 1604 – 20 December 1679).

In Recife, keeps a diary with 109 water-colour  drawings of curious fish, strange birds, useful and harmful animals, lovely tasty fruit and nasty, poisonous worms and big, brown or black people, published as his Thier-Buch.

There are pictures of the: 

  • Smooth Hammerhead
  • Cutlassfish
  • slender filefish 
  • Serranidae
  • Cirripedia

Leaves Dutch Brazil (1641), travelling back to Dresden.

After 4 months returns to Netherlands joining the Dutch East India Company (VOC).

Sails (1642) for the East Indies as midshipman.

Assistant (1643) to the governors: 

  •  Anthonij van Diemen (1593 – 19 April 1645) and 
  • Cornelis van der Lijn (1608 – 27 July 1679)

Under-merchant (1646) and merchant (1651).

Three times a member of the Court of Justice at Batavia.

Goes on mission to Canton  (1653) to re-open trade relations, which prove fruitless due to civil war after fall of Ming Dynasty.

Appointed VOC opperhoofd (1657) on Dejima – the small artificial island in Nagasaki Bay on the Japanese island of Kyushu.

Travels to capital Edo [Tokyo] in a tributary mission  and escapes from burning city (fire starting 2 March 1657) – drawing from his hand in the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

The Great Fire of Meireki that lasted for three days and may have caused 100,000 deaths. Reconstruction efforts took two years, as the shogunate took the opportunity to reorganize the city according to various practical considerations. 田代幸春 – 戸火事図巻(江戸東京博物館 Edo-Tokyo Museum :収蔵品)

As one of the 1st opperhoofden, orders (1759) dinner service, consisting of 200 pieces (1659). 

Designs Japanese porcelain according to European tastes white and blue with many flowers.

Serves twice as opperhoofd on Dejima in alternation with Joan Boucheljon:

  • Joan Bouchelion: 23 October 1655 – 1 November 1656
  • Zacharias Wagener: 1 November 1656 – 27 October 1657
  • Joan Bouchelion: 27 October1657 – 23 October 1658
  • Zacharias Wagener: 22 October 1658 – 4 November 1659
  • Joan Bouchelion: 4 November 1659 – 26 October 1660

Marries Batavia (30 January 1658)

Maria Françoise Auxbrebis (1609-1666)

Scion of ancient aristocratic family born in the Val d’Hermeton, Naumur in Wallonia, Spanish Netherlands [Belgium].

Birthplace of Maria Françoise Auxbrebis (1609-1666)

Daughter of François Auxbrebis de St-Marck and Catherine de Romerée. She marries:

  • (1stly) Batavia (5 May 1639) Major Adriaan Anthonissen.
  • (2ndly) Batavia (15 March 1642) Jacob Sweerts [Sweris] who serves on Ternate.
  • (3rdly): David de Bucquoi who serves on Ternate.
  • (4thly): Batavia 30 January 1658 Zacharias Wagenaer (1614-1668) from Dresden.

A relative Daniel de Bucquoy signs the resolution (11 May 1652) as member of Breede Raet on the Dommmedaris (1652) which brings the Cape’s 1st VOC commander Jan Anthonisz: van Riebeeck to the Cape of Good Hope [Cape Archives (CA): C 1, pp. 12-14] and succeeds / replaces (1645) opperkoopman Jacob Sweers in Ternate [Dagh-Register (Kasteel Batavia)].

Wagenaer is involved in peace negotiations with the Sultan of Makassar (1660) – port has about 2000 Portuguese traders and for years threatens Dutch spice trade on the Moluccas.

Head of the Public Works in Batavia (1661).

Arrives at the Cape (2 April 1662) on flute Oijevaar with his wife:

  • Maria Françoise Auxbrebis (1609-1666),

his step-daughter:

  • Maria de Bucquoi  / de Bucquoy, widow of Cornelis (Coen) Verburg [also found recorded as Maria Verburg and Widow Verburg];  

two horses, and five slaves:

  • Anthonij van Japan
  • Annica / Anika van Bengale
  • Abraham (son of Annica van Bengale)
  • Helena [? van Bengale]
  • Susanna [? van Bengale]

His step-daughter’s slaves [does she arrive with her parents?] are:

  • Catharina (Catrijn) van Malabar (and possibly her sons [?]: Jantje, Matthijs and Paulo)
    • Matthijs van Coromandel
    • Paul(o) van Malabar
    •  (Jantje) van Bengale

Succeeds Jan van Riebeeck as Cape’s 2nd commander (6 May) – Van Riebeeck leaves next day.

Acquires following slaves:

  • Maria van Angola – from Commander Jan van Riebeeck and sells again to Joan Coon (from Sommelsdijk, Zuid-Holland)
  • Louis van Bengale (shipment)
  • Willem van Bengale (shipment)
  • Lijsbeth van Bengale (shipment)

Baptizes (1663) two slave children [?]

  • Abraham
  • Lijsbeth

Asks (December 1663) Batavia to send him some pottery from Persia [Iran].

Negotiates with the Hottentots [Cape Khoena] about cattle for Company. By abstaining from further expeditions pursues policy to refrain from interfering in tribal disputes and keeping strictly neutral.

Appoints Georg Friedrich Wreede (drowns Mauritius 29 February 1672) – author of compendium of Dutch and Hottentot language as VOC commander on Mauritius.

Sells (1 May 1665) Marie van Bali [sic – Angola] to Johannes Coon (from Sommelsdijk).

One of five people laying the foundation stones of the Castle of Good Hope (started August 1665). 

Constructs waterbasin, supplying ships with fresh water, hospital, school and church.

Sells (11 August 1665) on behalf of Maria Verburgh to the surgeon Pieter Clinckenberg, her slave:

  • Jantje van Bengale (aged 11 years)

Ds. Joan van Arckel baptises (25 October 1665) Wagenaer’s two slave infants:

  • Lysabeth daughter of Susanna [? van Bengale]
  • Dominga daughter of Helena [? van Bengale]

Wife Maria Auxbrebis dies (14 June 1666) at the Cape and is buried there in the new church inside the new fort [Casteel de Goede Hoop]. 

Wagenaer records her death thus:

Anno 1666

Der Allerhöchste meine geliebte Hauß Frau nachdem dieselbe ohngef ähr einen Monat kranck darnieder gelegen, und viel Schmerzen ausgestanden durch den zeitlichen Todt abgefordert, habe mit Ihr 18 Jahr und 4. Monath, ein recht Christliche und friedliche Ehe, jedoch ohne Kinder, beseßen, und Sie nachmahls in eine kleine Capelle, die Ich selbst an der Caap erbauen, darien beysezen, und begraben laßen; Welcher der Allerhöchste eine sanffte Ruhe, und dermahleinsten das Ewige Leben verleihen wolle …

Wagenaer sells (25 September 1666) to secunde Hendrik Lacus (from Wesel in the Duchy of Cleves) for Rds 80 or f 240 light money:

  • Louis van Bengale,  

Grants (28 September1666) erf to Anthonij van Bengale [sic Japan] situated between the properties of the Cape burghers Thomas Christoffel Muller (from Leipzig) and Jan Marten de Wacht [III, p. 56].

Wagenaer frees (30 September 1666) and slave’s concubine Annica / Anika van Bengale and their two children:

  • Abraham and
  • Elisabeth.

Manumits his Japanese slave Anthonij de Later van Japan sijn Japanschen lijffeijgcn gen[aem]t. Anthonij and his wife Annica van Bengale after 10 years of faithful service. Anthonij pays Rds. 60 for his liberty and that of his family [III, p. 106]

Japanese Christian at Jakarta [Andries Beeckman 1656]

Wagenaer sells (30 September 1666) to Rev. Joannes de Voocht for Rds 90 or f 180

  • Willem van Bengale

Maria Verburg / Verburgh sells (30 September 1666) to Commander Cornelis van Quaelbergen for Rds 150, the slaves:

  • Mathijs
  • Paulo
  • Catharijn van Malabar (later Mrs Kees de Boer)

Sells the slaves:

  • Maria van Angola
  • Susanna van Bengale
  • Helena

He and step-daughter Maria de Bucqouij (Widow Cornelis (Coen) Verburgh) depart (1 October 1666) ex Cabo for Batavia on Dordrecht.

With presents, visits (1667) the Susuhunan of Mataram, who refuses to trade with VOC – his knowledge of Malay or Javanese, not being very good, the mission proves fruitless.

Visits Japara afterwards.

Sails (1668) back to Amsterdam as vice-admiral and in ill health.

Isaak van Bengale, sold (21 March 1668) at the Cape of Good Hope by an en passant Zacharias Wagenaer who was sailing round the Cape on ‘t Wapen van Middelburg, to Augustinus Boekaert [Boccaert] for Rds 90.

Buried (16 October 1668) Old Church, Amsterdam.

Ouwe Kerk, Amsterdam

German excerpt of diary is translated into English (published 1704 and 1732).

Work

  • Thier Buch / darinnen / viel unterschiedlicher Arter der Fische vögel vierfüssigen Thiere Gewürm, Erd= und / Baumfrüchte, so hin undt wieder in Brasilischen bezirck, und gebiethe, Der Westindischen Com / pagnie zu schauwen undt anzutreffen und daher in den Teutschen landen fremde und unbekant / Alles selbst […] bezeiget / In / Brasilien / Unter hochlöblicher Regierung des hochgebornen / Herren Johand Moritz Graffen von Nassau / Gubernator Capitain, und Admiral General / von / Zacharias Wagenern / von Dresden. (Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden)

Sources

  • http://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/i/imariyaki.htm
  • T. Volker, Porcelain and the Dutch East India Company as recorded in the Dagh-registers of the Batavia castle, those of Hirado and Deshima and other contemporary papers 1602-1682, pp. 126-127, 132-137 (E.J Brill, Leiden 1971)
  • Schoeman, K. (2006) Kinders van die Kompanjie
  • Martinus Nijhoff , `Wreede, Georg Friedrich, Hottentotse woordelijst` in Reizen in Zuid-Afrika in de hollandse tijd, vol. 1, pp. 215-224, edited by E. C. Godée-Molsbergen (s` Gravenhage, Netherlands 1916).
  • Spohr, O.H. (1967) Zacharias Wagner, second commander of the Cape, p. 4-5. Cape Town and Amsterdam 1967.
  • Miche Wolfgang,  Zacharias Wagner and Japan (I) (1983) 
  • A collection of voyages and travels, Volume 2 By Awnsham Churchill, John Churchill, pp. 496-499 
  • Kees Zandvliet a.o., The Dutch East India Company in the 17th century: life and work of Zacharias Wagenaer (1614–1668) (Nagasaki 1987)
  • Michel Wolfgang, `Zacharias Wagner and Japan (I) – The Autobiography of a Thunderman`. Dokufutsu Bungaku Kenkyū, no.37 (Kyushu University, Fukuoka, July 1987), pp. 53–102.PDF_File, Kyushu University Institutional Repository
  • Michel Wolfgang, `Hans Juriaen Hancke, Zacharias Wagener und Mukai Genshō: Aspekte einer ‘lehrreichen’ Begegnung im 17. Jahrhundert`, Bulletin of the Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University, no. 1 (1995), pp. 109-114. PDF_File, Kyushu University Institutional Repository
  • Sybille Pfaff, Zacharias Wagener (1614–1668) (Haßfurt 2001) (Bamberg, Univ., Diss., 1997)
  • Anna J. Böeseken, Dagregister en Briewe van Zacharias Wagenaer 1662-1666
Contemporary Japanese depiction of a Dutchman on Dejima

De Vrijswartin Rosetta van Bougis frees her slave Rosetta van Bengale

Verbatim transcription of the original Deed of Emancipation by Mansell Upham

12 October 1734

Manumission of private slave woman Rosetta van Bengale from the deceased estate of de Vrijswartin Rosetta van Bougis

[Cape Archives (CA): C 3084, Obligatiën, Transporten van Slaven &c., (12 October 1734), no. 67 [pp. 133-134]]

[133]

67                    N:[icolaas] Leij

Huijden den 12:de October 1734 Compareerde voor mij Willem Kerkhof Eerste geswoore Clercq ten politicque Secretarije alhier aan Cabo de Goede hoop Present de Naargen:[oemde] Getuijgen den Onderkoopman en Secret:[ari]s der Weeskamer S:[ieu]r Jacob Leever als hier toe Uyt het Collegie van heeren Weesmeesteren deesen Steede, Admitteerende den boedel en nalatenschap Wijle de Vrijswartin

Rosetta van Bougis,

Expres Gecommettend, dewelke volgens geostinende permissie van de Edele heer Gouverneur en E.[dele] Agtb:[ar]e politicquen Raad deeses Gouvernements verclaarde te Emancipeeren, vrij te Geeven en uijt Slaafze diensbaarheijd te ontslaan, Gelijk Emancipeerde, vrijgaf en uijt Slaafse dienstbaarheijd ontslaan bij deesen, Seekere Slave Meijd Gen:[aam]t

Rosetta van Bengalen

in eijgendom toegetrouwd hebbende de boovengen:[oemde] Rosetta van Bougis, Weshalven der Comp:[aran]t in qualiteijd als voren was renuntieerende van al het plege en eijgendom dat tot dato deeses op Gem:[elte] vriygegevene heeft gehad, permiteerende haar wijders omme sig met alle geoorloofde handteeringe en trafiquen met God en met eere door de weereld te moogen tradderen en erneeren.

Compareerde meede den Burgerraad S:[ieu]r Fredrik Russouw, dewelke verclaarde hem als borg te interponeeren dat meergem:[elt]e Rosetta van bengalen in de eerste tien agter eenvolgende Jaaren de deaconij deese plaatse Om eenig Onderhoud niet sal lasting vallen nog alimentatie versoeken, onder verband van deselfs person als na regten.

Dat Aldus perseerde ter Secretaye voorn[oem]t: in`t bijweefs van Pieter Paulus Thomé en Albert Ludewig Smit Als Getuijgen.

[signed] J.[acob] Lever

[signed] F:[rederi]k Russouw

Als Getuijgen

[signed] P.[ieter]P.[aulus] Tomé

[signed] A.[lbert]L.[udewig] Schmidt

In Kennisse van Mij

[signed] W:[ille]m Kerkhoff

Groote Catrijn van Paliacatta at Jakarta – her Trial and Banishment to the Cape of Good Hope

by Mansell Upham

Groote Catrijn at Batavia – the trial

Either a slave by birth, or later enslaved and alienated by her own or other people to the Dutch, we find her (1656) described as a “Moorish (Muslim) female slave” (een Moorse slavinne) in Batavia. When she is removed from Pulicat to Batavia is not known. There it is Groote Catrijn’s lot to belong to a local woman named Maria MagdalenaHer owner (patronesse) is described as a “free woman and lady in this city” (vrije vrou ende juvrouw ten desen stede). Her owner’s lack of surname indicates that she is a non-European woman, either local or freed elsewhere and a member of the mardijcker community at Batavia. The word ‘mardijcker’ derives from the Bahasa (Malay) word mardeka meaning ‘free’.

The mardijckers are a distinct colonial community that evolve out of the earlier Portuguese and later impacted by other European nations on the Indies. They originate as mercenaries imported by the Dutch from other parts of Asia and brought to Batavia. These are already products of the earlier Portuguese Empire in Asia.  Mostly mestizo, these Eurasians are predominantly Christian and Portuguese-speaking. The term mardijcker later becomes more fluid and the original mardijckers soon become indistinguishable from the rest of the free-black and mixed race free-Asian or non-enslaved local population. They are free-Asians and often even slaves imported from elsewhere later freed by the Dutch and allowed burgher status in any of the Dutch colonies.[1] Johan Nieuhof in his Travels to the East-Indies (1662) gives us the following account of the mardijcker population in Batavia.

Batavia

“The Mardiikers or Topassers are a mixture of divers Indian nations, call’d Topassers, ie Accommodators, because they will accommodate themselves easily to the manners, customs and religion of such as they live among; tho’ some will have them derive their name from a precious stone call’d a Topaz.  They live both within and without the city, the chiefest of which being merchants, who traffick in their own vessels with the adjacent isles, live in very stately houses.  The rest live upon husbandry, grasing and gardening, and have some artisans amongst them; they have their own captains, who sit in the council of war, and school-masters who teach their children to read and to write. Their dress approaches near to the Dutch fashion, but their breeches reach down to their ankles, and wear a kind of cap on their heads.  Their women are clad like other Indian women.  Their houses are better built than those of the other Indians, generally of stone, and cover’d with tiles, stately built and arch’s.  Before their houses they plant coco-trees, and all sorts of Indian fruit and flowers, but the backside they reserve for the keeping of pigs, pidgeons, fowl and other sorts of poultry, which they bring to sale in the market”

Topassersa Mardijker couple [Churchill 1704]

The events leading up to Groote Catrijn’s life-long banishment to the Cape of Good Hope are preserved in two detailed judicial documents from Batavia.  These are copied from the sentence book (Sententiebouck) of the Batavian Council of Justice that accompany Groote Catrijn on her voyage of exile to the Cape.[2]  Copies survive and are housed in the Cape Archives in Cape Town. These have proved exceedingly difficult – if not almost impossible for most – to read as the folios have handwriting on both sides with the ink showing through.[3]  Verbatim transcriptions by the writer are provided for the reader’s scrutiny at the end of this article. 

Batavia

Despite her unique distinction as 1st recorded female convict at the Cape of Good Hope and 1st slave to be freed there by the Company, Groote Catrijn, has yet to be fully incorporated into the mainstream of historiographical writing on slavery in South Africa.  Shell, for example, in his Children of Bondage (1994), makes no mention of this important slave figure. She is also not mentioned in the earlier works of Robert Ross, Cape of Torments: Slavery and Resistance in South Africa (1983), and Victor de Kock, Those in Bondage (1963).  Schoeman, Early slavery at the Cape of Good Hope 1652-1717 (2007) – barely mentions her despite being fully apprized about earlier substantive published research (1997) about her.[4]

More documentation recorded at the time of Groote Catrijn’s trial may survive either at archival institutions in the Netherlands or Indonesia. This includes documents such as attestations by witnesses, an autopsy of the murdered victim’s corpse and Groote Catrijn’s own confession. Since she is sentenced to death, Roman-Dutch legal practice requires a confession by the accused. The following quote illustrates the legal position regarding the prerequisite of a personal confession before the death penalty can be applied: [5] 

“Sentence of Chinaman Oeydsoeko for committing godless sin of sodomy.  The important portion of it is that though detected, the criminal had even under the severest torture refused to confess, and the sentence says, ‘that the mildness of our laws requires that no one shall be executed or condemned unless he personally confesses to the crime of which he is accused’.  That the prisoner although tortured, would not confess, and that therefore he should be banished for life to the Cape or any other place selected for that purposes.”  

Torture, failing voluntary confession, is introduced to accelerate procedure.

From the extracts taken from the Batavian sentence book and despatched to the Cape, we know that Pulicat-born Catharina appears to be about 25 years old at the time of her conviction. This estimation is based on her physical appearance (na aensien omtrent 25 jaeren).  Appearing before the Council of Justice at the Castle at Batavia on a charge of manslaughter, Groote Catrijn, now a prisoner, relates the events leading up to her arraignment. This she does ‘of her own free will’, meaning that she either voluntarily confesses – with or without the aid of torture.  For a year and a half, she and the late Claes van Malabar commit carnal intercourse (vleeschelijcke conversatie) as husband and wife. Concubinage is outlawed in Batavia in terms of edicts (placaaten) dating back to 1620, 1622 and also the Statutes of India(the laws promulgated at Batavia) which hold sway (1642-1765).[6]  During his lifetime Claes is the slave of the Company’s stablemaster Sieur Hendrick Christoffel Loser[7]. His relationship with Groote Catrijn, first compounded (sometime in mid-1654), terminates abruptly at about two o’ clock in the afternoon of 8 October 1656.

Map of Batavia showing Rijswijk (bottom – centre)

On that eventful day Groote Catrijn arrives at the garden of Claes’s master and owner.  This is situated at the Rijswijck Fortress outside of Batavia.[8]  She brings with her a pot of cooked chicken and pork.  Claes had requested the food.  Groote Catrijn is keen that he shares the meat with her. Her expedition is abortive. Groote Catrijn’s offerings Claes politely refuses. He has already eaten his midday meal.  Groote Catrijn turns on him in anger. Hurling abuse, she grabs hold of Claes and calls him a ‘motherfucker’ (moerneuker). This timeless universal expletive is deliberately muted in the court record. The scribe notes euphemistically that during her confrontation with Claes, Groote Catrijn also adds most uncivilly:  “you kiss your mother” or “you know your mother carnally”[9] 

Moerneuker

The abusive term moerneuker, or equivalent thereof, likely to be used, is inferred. The common use of moerneuker as a term of abuse at the Cape is confirmed by an incident during the slave rebellion (October 1808). The Bastaard Hottentot Arrie Abel is arrested and put on trial (6 November 1808) for inter alia calling his victim Hendrik Priem [Heinrich Prien] (from Schmalstede [Danish Holsten] – incidentally the author’s more recent ancestor and maternal great-great-great-great-grandfather) a moerneuker: “Ha jou moerneuker, ben jy hier – jy bent altyd zo een uithaalder geweest”. This translates as: “Ha! You Motherfucker!  It’s you!  You were always such a flasher.”[10] Given the historical and geographic removal and evolution of Afrikaans from Dutch, we need to consider the shifts in meanings of certain basic words currently shared by both languages. In Dutch (and Afrikaans) moer is a contraction for moeder – moe[de]rmoer (‘mother’).  In Afrikaans, the word is now often offensive and used as a term of abuse.  Curiously, it can also mean when used as a verb ‘to beat up’ or ‘to thrash’. The word neuker (derived from the verb neuk) in Dutch means ‘fucker’. In Afrikaans, the word neuk, however, has lost this sexual, vulgar, crude and offensive connotation and now, like moer, simply means ‘to thrash’ or ‘to strike’ (especially with a fist) or ‘to bother’ or ‘to annoy’.  In effect, the term moerneuker is tautologous in Afrikaans and appears no longer to be in use in South Africa.

A scuffle ensues, with an enraged Claes grabbing hold of Groote Catrijn and throwing her to the ground.  Once separated, Groote Catrijn, now in a blind fury and violent rage (in hevigen woede) grabs hold of a sharp-cornered cobblestone[11]. The writer when originally transcribing the court record misread “ladder” for “cobblestone”. 

Aiming for his genitals, she hits Claes with all the force she can muster.  But Groote Catrijn misses her mark.  Instead, she hits Claes against the droop of his belly – almost connecting his manhood.  The force of the impact causes Claes’s bladder to burst.  Four days later, on the night of 11 / 12 October 1656, he dies.  

Rijswijck Fortress

Rijswijk

The site of the original fortress at Gambir (formerly Harmoni, Molenvliet and Rijswijk) in present-day Jakarta is now covered by Merdeka Square (`Freedom` / `Independence` Square) – Medan Merdeka / Lapangan Merdeka) formerly Koningsplein – and two palaces, Istana Negara or State Palace built (1796-1804) and Merdeka (formerly Istana Gambir), built (1873-1879) – previously used as the official residence of the Dutch governors-general of Indonesia and now the official office and residence of the presidents of the Republic of Indonesia.

Arial view of State Palace complex, Jakarta [own photograph]
Negara Palace
Negara Palace by W.C. Meiling
Merdeka Palace

Groote Catrijn has taken a life. The law insists on reciprocity as a deterrent to others.  The Council of Justice feels compelled to apply the death penalty. This is obligatory in terms of the accused prisoner’s voluntary statementGroote Catrijn is condemned (16 November 1656) to be tied to a stake and executed by strangulation (garrotted) and her property confiscated. A stick called a garrotte is to be used to twist the cord tight that is tied around the victim’s neck. 

The men who sit in judgement of Groote Catrijn are the following:

  • Joan Cuneus / Cunaeus (1617-1672),
  • Dirck Janssen Steur,
  • Johannes Burgers,
  • L.P. Vernattij,
  • Johan van Dam (1617-1677),
  • Jacob Cau,
  • Hendrik Bogaert and
  • Vincent van Work.

Later, some of these top officials encounter, or at least enquire after, Groote Catrijn during her exile at the Cape of Good Hope. En route either to Batavia or to the Netherlands (Patria), these are appointed commissioners to inspect the Cape’s administration and make recommendations to both the governor-general at Batavia and the directors of the VOC in the Netherlands, the Heeren XVII.  Their arrival at the Cape is eagerly awaited. Commissioners, being more senior than the commander at the Cape, could overrule any local decisions. Understandably, any aggrieved subject of the Company resident at the Cape would try to make use of any opportunity (doubtless restricted) to be heard.

Joan Cunaeus (1617-1673) is commissioner at the Cape (6-19 March 1658). His inspection of affairs at the Cape is preserved in the form of his Memorie (18 March 1658).  He would be up-dated about Groote Catrijn while at the Cape.  Born Leiden (1617), he studies law there. His VOC career advances rapidly: advokaat-fiscaal (1644); secretary to governor-general (1645); sheriff (balju) (1647); raad-extraordinaris (1648); raad-ordinaris of India (1650); colonel of the Burgher Watch and president of the Council. Later ordinaris Raedt van India he serves the Company as a jurist in Batavia and finally as envoy to Persia. He is also on record as being sheriff of Batavia and son-in-law to the wealthy and influential Italian banker and trader Philippe Calandrini and wife Margaretha van der Meulen who in their joint will (“after longest living”) appoint him (17 September 1648) together with Sr. Rijckloff van Goens and Pieter Kemp – Capiteyn der Burgerije of Batavia – as joint guardians and executors when bequeathing their furniture, household goods, silverware, clothing and jewelry to their 6 children (Charles, Elisabeth, Dudley, Susanna, Catharina and Maria).[12]  He dies at Leiden (1673). 

Johannes Cunaeus heading the Dutch VOC embassy to the Persian capital of Isfahan

In April 1664 Dirck Janssen Steur is commissioner at the Cape.[13]  He rises quickly in the VOC ranks: junior merchant(ondercoopman) (1637); merchant (coopman) (1640); vice-president of Council of Justice (1650); raad extraordinaris of India (1651); president of Council of Justice (1653); raad ordinaris of India (1657) and admiral of return fleet (1663).

A man and his wife who also again come back into Groote Catrijn’s life are Jacob Cau / Cauw and Anna Machtelt van Coevoerden.  He is a junior merchant (1656) in Batavia serving later in Macassar and commander (1664) of the western coast of Sumatra. A jurist, he sits on the Council of Justice at Batavia. When admiral of the return fleet (May 1666), he inspects the Cape as commissioner where he again encounters Groote Catrijn. His presence at the Cape, and that of his wife, are not particularly well received.[14]

Already at Batavia, Johan van Dam becomes (1655) councillor extraordinary of India (extraordinarie raet van India) and returns (May 1667) to the Netherlands. En route he is commissioner at the Cape. Unfortunately no report appears to survive. He would be fully aware of Groote Catrijn’s situation when visiting the Cape. 

Groote Catrijn is pardoned

Groote Catrijn’s death sentence, however, is a technicality. She is pardoned (18 November 1656) by the governor-general Joan Maetsuijcker two days later. In the Pardon she is referred to as Catharina “from Malabar” (van Mallebaer)whereas when originally sentenced, she is mentioned as Catharina “born in Pulicat” (geboortich van Paliacatte). Her sentence is commuted. She acted in a rage and self-defence and did not have the intent to kill Claes at the time of the scuffle. Her sentence is consequently altered and she is banished for life to the Cape of Good Hope to serve there “for the term of her natural life” as a Company slave. The Cape authorities are duly notified in terms of a despatch (with accompanying documentation) from the Governor-General and Council of India (4 December 1656):[15] 

“The Prins Willem brings you three convicts. Two have been banished to Robben Island for a series of years, and a female slave for the term of her natural life at the Cape”.

Accompanying this letter, are extracts from the Sentence Book confirming her conviction, sentence and pardon. As a convict, Groote Catrijn ceases to belong to the free-woman Maria Magdalena and her status changes to that of a slave belonging to the Company.

Joan / Johan Maetsuijcker (1606-1678) the man who pardons Groote Catrijn is governor-general of the Dutch Indies (1653-1678). He is a great proponent of Dutch colonisation especially in Ceylon where he is governor (1646-1650) and later elsewhere:[16]

Maetsuyker, at an early stage of his colonial career, was a professional admirer of the Portuguese system of promoting colonization by encouraging white men to marry Asian or Eurasian women and settle down in the East.  The children of these mixed marriages, he averred, were better acclimatized than those born of pure European parentage, and, after the second or third generation, they differed little if at all from pure Netherlanders in complexion.  He admitted that many of these half-caste offsprings at present were apt to turn out rather badly, but this he ascribed to their lax upbringing in households where slavery was the general rule, and not to any inherent racial defect.  The remedy for this state of affairs, he added, lay in the provision of good schools and in proper supervision by the parents. Maetsuyker maintained that with suitable encouragement by the Company’s high officials – which so far had been conspicuously lacking – the free-burghers could establish themselves as cobblers, tailors, smiths, armourers, jewellers, carpenters, masons and surgeons.  He even claimed that they could compete with the Chinese in agricultural pursuits.  He further alleged that the Company’s senior officials were the worst enemies of the free-burghers, since they favoured their Chinese and Asian competitors on account of the ‘squeeze’ and bribes which they received from the latter”. 

Johan Maetsuijcker (1606-1678)

His successors in Ceylon are less enthusiastic. Van Kittensteijn, an adherent of the rival and much larger school of thought, still maintains that Dutch settlers would never do any hard work in Asia, and that their indigenous or half-caste wives are inherently vicious and immoral. Rijckloff van Goens senior only tolerates intermarriage with the Sinhalese, Tamil and Eurasian women stipulating that the daughters of such unions should nevertheless be allowed to marry Netherlanders “so that our race may degenerate as little as possible”. [17] 

Maetsuijcker is disliked, however, by the Chinese in Batavia who describe him as:

“… a man of cantankerous and unpleasant character, so that low-class people did not dare to pass by his door.  If any of them did so inadvertently, he was apt to arrest and punish them.  The Company made no effort to stop this “.[18]

Maetsuijcker is also notoriously anti-clerical. Whatever Protestant orthodoxy he claims to uphold is suspect, as he had been educated at the Roman Catholic University of Louvain.[19] He is also a jurist of note, a doctor of law who had rapidly worked his way up the ranks of the VOC. He appears to be more racially tolerant than most of his contemporaries, pointing out to his successor in Ceylon that the custom of “many among us who regard them (the local Sinhalese) with prejudice” by calling them “black dogs” is insulting and unchristian.[20]  It is he who authors (1642) the Statuten van Batavia being a compilation of all the laws, statutes and edicts that hold sway throughout the VOC empire. He marries (1stly) in the Netherlands Haasje Berkmans: (1610-1663), and marries (2ndly) at Batavia Elisabeth Abbema (widow of Simon Jansz: Cos).[21]

 Maetsuijcker`s 2nd wife’s brother Sijbrand Abbema (1637-1684) (from Vianen [Duchy of Vianen]) will visit the Cape (9 February-14 March 1670), again from (May-July 1674) and as commissioner (20 February-27 March 1680).[22] On his 1st visit he likely brings the following slaves:

  • Anthonij Jansz: van Bengale
  • Claes Gerritsz: van Bengale
  • Sara van Solor
  • Titus (Tita) van Coromandel [Titus Thomsen / Thomzen van Bengale]

Abbema likely sells the other three slaves mentioned above – one being Groote Catrijn`s future husband – to the wealthy free-burgher Hendrik Snijer [Heinrich Heinrichssen (from Sürwürden [Oldenborg])]Abbema liberates his slave Titus (Tita) van Bengale allowing him to take the slave formerly belonging to Wouter Cornelisz: Mostaert (from Utrecht) Catharina Opklim van Bengale and her infant to Batavia. Titus (de) Thomsen / Thomzen thereupon joins the Company later becoming bookkeeper on the Africa which stops at the Cape (8 February 1693) bringing Catharina Opklim back to the Cape. Sara van Solor he probably sells to Willem van Dieden (from Amsterdam) the 2nd husband of the newly remarried widow of Hendrik Snijer, Geertruijd Frans: Meeckhoff (from Steenswijk).

“Banishment to that barbarous and remote corner the Cape of Good Hope”

Groote Catrijn arrives at the Cape (21 February 1657) on board the Prins Willem.  The other ships forming the fleet are Het Wapen van Amsterdam, West Vriesland, Amersfoort and Dordrecht.  The ship is part of the return fleet that leaves Batavia (4 December 1656) under the command of the admiral Matthijs Crab, the vice admiral Pieter Hackius and the rear admiral Pieter Kemp. Hackius later becomes commander at the Cape (1670) inheriting Groote Catrijn as part of his household and we shall reveal more details about him as the narrative progresses. 

Pieter Kemp is the former Capiteyn der Burgerije of Batavia who is appointed there (17 September 1648) by the wealthy Italian banker and trader Philippe Calandrini and wife Margaretha van der Meulen in their joint will (“after longest living”) together with Sr. Rijckloff van Goens and none other than one of the judges at Groote Catrijn`s trial – the testators` son-in-law and sheriff of Batavia, Joan Cunaeus (1617-1673) – as guardians and executors when bequeathing their furniture, household goods, silverware, clothing and jewelry to their 6 children (Charles, Elisabeth, Dudley, Susanna, Catharina and Maria).[23] Likely members of the same Kemp family later become part of the Cape`s colonial population, eg:

  • Pieter Kemp (from Brughes) who marries (1 September 1715) Rentien (Luitje) Willemse baptized Cape (25 January 1694) daughter of Gerrit Willemse and Maria Cornelisse and granddaughter of Cornelis Cornelisz: (from Utrecht) aka Kees de Boer and Catharina (Catrijn) van Malabar;
  • N.[icolaes] Kemp who is recorded as being biological father to Company casties Jannetje Kemp van de Caep by Company halfslag  (mulatta) Cecilia Mulders: aka Cecilia Sweris / Swerisse van de Caep;
  • Johannes Kemp, exile & mandoor of Company`s Slave Lodge.

Maaij Ansela & Dominga van Bengale

It is in this same return fleet that the slave women Dominga van Bengale[24] and Engela / Angela (Maaij Ans(i)ela) van Bengale[25] – both the personal property of Kemp – arrive at the Cape on the Amersfoort.  They are sold by Kemp to the Cape’s commander, Jan van Riebeeck.  Found recorded variously as: Ansela, Anselaar, Ansiela and AnslaAncilla is Latin for slave girl, servant girl or maidservant – and later popularly known as Maaij Ansela (literally ‘Ma Angela’), Angela becomes wife to the free-burgher Arnoldus Willemsz: (from Wesel [Duchy of Cleves]). Popularly known as Jagt, he is the progenitor of the Basson family in South Africa.

Groote Catrijn and Maaij Ansela become close friends. They are jointly baptized and listed together as communicants. Both are godmothers to each other’s sons.  Maaij Ansela herself and two of her sons (Jacobus van As and Willem Basson) later witness baptisms of some children of Groote Catrijn’s son, Christoffel Snijman, the latter being Maaij Ansela’s godson. Christoffel Snijman, in turn, also witnesses (with Maaij Ansela), her own grandchild’s baptism. As Maaij Ansela’s husband Basson are sent out to the Cape under the Chamber of Enkhuisen, he knows, if not befriends, Groote Catrijn’s soldier lover Snijman. Maaij Ansela and her husband are also well acquainted with François Champelier (from Ghent [Spanish Netherlands]) who once absconds with Snijman. Maaij Ansela outlives Groote Catrijn by 38 years.  She and her large influential family will play a continuous part in the life of Groote Catrijn’s son and his family.[26]

Prins Willem

The Prins Willem is the pride of the VOC’s Indies fleet. The ship, a spiegelretourschip, is in use by the VOC (1650-10 February 1662) before it disappears off the isle of Brandon near Madagascar. The ship is built (1649) for the Chamber of Zealand at its shipyard at Middelburg under supervision of scheepstimmerman Cornelis Spelderman having the following statistics: length: 51m; width: 14,32m; depth: almost 4m; load capacity: 600 last/1200 ton; armourment: 24 (later 40) canons. It is the largest spiegelschip ever built by the VOC.  The ship is 68m long and the 2 main masts are 54m high. A replica of this ship stood for many years in the open air museum Oranda Mura (‘Holland Village’) in the bay of Omura at Nagasaki in Japan and later at the amusement park Cape Holland at Den Helder where it burned down by accident (30 July 2009). 

Replica of Prins Willem

The Prins Willem departs (5 May 1651) on its first voyage to India. With the outbreak of the First English War (1652-1654), the ship is refurbished after its return to the Netherlands and armed with 40 canons, instead of its original 24 canons and utilized for three months in the war fleet. The ship takes part in the Battle of Duins (1652) also serving as admiraalsschip for Admiral Witte de With and returned damaged to the VOC. It is reconditioned into a retourschip and its heavy weaponry retained. The Prins Willem disappears (10 February 1662) at 25/26°ZB during a heavy storm at the isle of Brandon near Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

Cabo de Boa Esperança

The ship’s voyage details (voyage number; departure date; from; to; arrival date; chamber; skipper) are as follows:[27]

Voyage I: 4 May 1651 Wielingen Batavia (30 October 1651) Zeeland via S. Vincente  (21 June 1651-?) via Cape of Good Hope (no stop over);  Return Voyage I: (19 December 1651) Batavia (1652) Zeeland via Cape of Good Hope (no stop over); Voyage II: (11 May 1653) Wielingen Batavia (31 December 1653) Zeeland via Cape of Good Hope no stop over; Return Voyage II: (6 February 1654) Batavia Wielingen (31 August 1654) Zeeland; Voyage III: (1 January 1655) Wielingen Batavia (14 July 1655) Zeeland via Cape of Good Hope (12 April 1655-10 May 1655); Return Voyage III: (4 December 1656) Batavia Wielingen (18 July 1657) Zeeland via Cape of Good Hope (21 February 1657-8 March 1657); Voyage IV: (25 January 1658) Wielingen Batavia (12 September 1658) Zeeland via Cape of Good Hope (17 June 1658-5 July 1658) via S. Vincente; here one man deserts; Return Voyage IV: (18 December 1659) Batavia Wielingen (10 July 1660) Zeeland Daniel de Loper via Cape of Good Hope (2 March 1660 -20 March 1660); Voyage V: (10 January 1661) Wielingen Batavia (10 September 1661) Zeeland via Cape of Good Hope (9 June 1661-29 June 1661). Prins Willem departs again from Wielingen (7 February 1661). During this voyage one child is born. Return Voyage V: (23 December 1661) Batavia disappearing (10 February 1662) Zealand Adriaan van Leene. De Prins Willem disappears at 25/26°ZB during heavy storm (10 February 1662) at island of Brandon (Madagascar) in Indian Ocean.


[1] For a more detailed account of these communities see Mansell George Upham, ‘Pai Timor – the ‘accomodatory’ life and times of a 17th century family from Timor exiled to Java, Mauritius & the Cape of Good Hope’, First Fifty Years Project (Tokyo 2012) –

Click to access UL05PaiTimor.pdf

[2] CA: CJ 281, no. 44, Case of Catharina van Paliacatte (16 November 1656), folios 5-7.  Extracts from the Sentence Book (16 November 1656 & 18 November 1656) are extracted (25 November 1656).

[3] Historian Anna J. Böeseken (1977), even though referring to these very sources in her Slaves and Free Blacks at the Cape 1658-1700, pp. 20-21, almost condemns Groote Catrijn to oblivion by stating the following: “During Van Riebeeck’s administration the Council of Justice did not often meet to consider cases involving slaves.  In one instance, a woman called Catharina from Paliacatta is mentioned.  As she had been sentenced in Batavia for a misdemeanour which is not [sic] specified in the documents, we are merely informed that she was condemned to death, but that her sentence was changed to lifelong banishment to the Cape.  She was in fact the first female convict at the Cape, but in the documents she is described as a female slave”. Böeseken again overlooks this important case in her later work Uit die Raad van Jutisie 1652-1672 (1986) comprising 100 transcribed cases tried at the Cape before the Council of Justice. Her book provides, however, a comprehensive list of 463 cases together with essential summaries.  For case no. 44, which, unlike the rest of the cases, was never tried at the Cape, she merely states the following: “44; 16.11.1656; Catharina van Paliacatte; vonnis en begenadiging; instede van doodstraf word sy lewenslank na die Kaap verban.  CJ 281, pp. 5-7.”

[4] Recently, Le Roux  `revisits` the archival sources previously unearthed and published in Capensis and  except for bringing her story to an Afrikaans audience, adds nothing new whatsoever to her story [see Schalk W, le Roux, ‘Vele wonings: die lewe en tuistes van Catharina van Paliacatte’, South African Journal of Cultural History (2011), vol. 26/1, pp. 61-101 http://repository.up.ac.za/bitstream/handle/2263/17157/LeRoux_Vele%282011%29.pdf?sequence=1].

[5] H.C.V. Leibbrandt, Précis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope: Letters Received, (letter, 27 November 1699), p. 233; Robert Ross, ‘The Rule of Law in the Eighteenth Centuy’ in Beyond the Pale: Essays on the History of Colonial South Africa, p. 164.

[6] Eric Jones, ‘Wives, Whores, and Concubines: Early Modern Dutch Marriage Law and the Transmission of Family Wealth in Asia’, (Spring 2000 All-UC Group in Economic History Conference, UCLA, 28-30 April 2000).  I am indebted to Faith Roberts for drawing my attention to this paper.

[7] One wonders whether he has any link to the biological father of the Cape-born private slave Maria Lozee.

[8] The site of the original fortress is now covered by Merdeka Square (Medan Merdeka / Lapangan Merdeka)

[9]vouginge op’t onbeleefsche jou moeder en[de – deleted] u maaij gesoent ofte vleeschelijck bekent  …

[10] CA: CJ 514, p. 191 Art. 1227; Joubert, D.C., Die Slawe-Opstand van 1808 in die Koe-Tygerberge en Swartland-Distrikte (M.A. UNISA (H.U.C.) 1946, unpublished manuscript), pp. 63 & 79; Robert Ross, Cape of Torments: Slavery and Resistance in South Africa, p. 102; & J.H. de Bussy, Amsterdam, Pretoria en Johannesburg / Holl.-Afrik. uitgevers Mij. v/h. J. Dusseau & Co, Kaapstad 1916, pp. 204-205. 

[11] This error has ramified and is repeated in all subsequent publications by numerous authors – including Le Roux (2011) supra who claims to have “revisited” this original record.  The error came to light when re-preparing a verbatim transcription for publication by the writer and is now finally corrected in this publication.

[12] http://www.nikhef.nl/~louk/CALAN/generation2.html

[13] Resolusies van die Politieke Raad, p.  313, n. 2.

[14] Resolusies vandie Politieke Raad, vol. I, p. 341, n. 1.See Wagenaer’s comments about the unpopularity of Mr & Mrs Cauw [Anna J. Böeseken, Memoriën en Instructiën, p. xvi].

[15] Pr. ‘t schip Prins Willem comen tot UE.[dele] over drije van jaren op’t Robben eijlandt ende een slavinne voor al haer leven aen de Caap gebannen sijn, gel :  bij de nevensgaende sententie des achtbaren Raedts van Justitie te consteren compt die UE.[dele] achtervolgens den inhout van dien in hun bannissement geliefft te stellen en alsoo haer condemnatie te laten voldoen.  Batavia, 4 Dec.[ember], 1656. [H.C.V.  Leibbrandt, Précis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope: Letters and Documents Received 1649-1662), Part I, pp. 322-323].

[16] C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800, pp. 247-248.

[17] C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800, p. 248.

[18] C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800, p. 266.

[19] C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800, p. 154.

[20] C.R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800, pp. 260-261.

[21] M.E. van Opstall, Suid-Afrikaanse Biografiese Woordeboek (SABW), vol. III, pp. 575-576.

[22] A.H. Tromp, Suid-Afrikaanse Biografiese Woordeboek (SABW), vol. I, p. 1.

[23] L. Lapikás,  Fragment Genealogie Calandrini version 1.1, Muiden, UTC (Muiden, The Netherlands)

http://www.nikhef.nl/~louk/CALAN/generation2.html#2a)

[24] Mansell George Upham, ‘Hell and Paradise … Hope on Constantia / De Hel en Het Paradijs … De Hoop op Constantia: Jan Grof (dies ante 1700) and his extended family at the Cape of Good Hope – a glimpse into family, household, patriarchy, matriarchy, bondage, marriage, concubinage, adultery, bastardy, métissage, manumission, propinquity and consanguinity in 17th century Dutch South Africa before slavery’s abolition, the weakening of kinship and emergence of the modern nuclear family:

Click to access UL04DeHoopOpConstantiaJanGrof.pdf

[25] Mansell G. Upham, ‘Maaij Ansela and the black sheep of the family: A closer look at the events surrounding the first execution of a vrij burgher in Cape colonial society for the murder of a non-European’, Capensis, no. 4 (1997) pp. 4-18, (1998), nos. 1 (pp. 22-35,2 (pp. 26-39), 3 (pp. 21-28)& 4 (pp. 37-40) (1998), (1999), nos. 1 (pp. 38-40)& 2 (pp.27-38).

[26] http://www.e-family.co.za/ffy/ui116.htm.

[27] M. Verstegen, De Indische Zeeherberg: de stichting van Zuid-Afrika door de VOC, Europese Bibliotheek, Zaltbommel 2001; Martinus Nijhoff, Dutch-Asiatic Shipping in the 17th and 18th centuries, vol. II, Outward-bound voyages from the Netherlands to Asia and the Cape (1595-1794) & Dutch-Asiatic Shipping in the 17th and 18th centuries, vol. III, Homeward-bound voyages from Asia and the Cape to the Netherlands (1597-1795) Den Haag 1979.

TRIAL PAPERS INVOLVING GROOTE CATRIJN

Groote Catrijn’s Death Sentence & Pardon – Extracts from Sentence Book at Batavia

CAPE ARCHIVES (CA):                  COURT OF JUSTICE (CJ) 281, no. 44 (16 November 1656)

Alsoo Catharina geboortich van Paliacatte out na aensien omtrent 25 jaeren en Moorse slavinne van Maria Magdalena vrije vrou ende jinwoorten desen stede jegenwoordich ‘t heeren gevangene, vrijewillige:[e]n buijtten pijnes ende banden van jsere ofte eenige de minste dreygementen van dien bekent ende beleden heeft, mitsgaders wijne E.[dele] Heeren van den achtbaeren Raad van Justitie des Casteels Bat:[avi]a manifestelyck gebleken sij dat sij gevangen ‘t sedert een en den half jaer geleden met een Claes van de Mallebaerse Cust zal:[ige]r in sijn leven slaef van S:[ieu]r Hendrick Christoffel Leser des E:[dele] Comp:[agnie]s Stalmeester alhier, als man ende vrou vleeschelijcke conversatie gehouden hebbende.  Op acht ter een voorlede maent October des na middach omtrent twee uyr met een pot gecochte coelen ende verckens vlees bij voorz: Claes in sijn Lijffheers thuijn staende buijten deser stede inde Crockot bij de forteres Rijs-wijck gecomen wesende, versocht ende gewilt heeft dat den selven met haer daer van eten soude,‘t welck eenige reijsen door hem beleefdelijck geweigent sijnde als hebbende even te vooren sijn middach mael genutticht, is sy gevange daer over met voorsz: haer bijsit eerst in worden ende daerna handst gemeen geworden, scheldende alvorens sij gev:[ange]nes denselven met bijvouginge op’t onbeleefste jou moeder en[de – deleted] u maaij gesoent ofte vleschelijck bekent sulcx genoemde Claes van haer gebeeten ende soo als gescheijden waeren op d’aerde neder geseten wesent heeft bij gevangene haer niet ontsien nochts gevreest en t’oorwegen gemoede een groote houckige keijsteen van de aerde op te vatten ende daer mede genoemde Claes soodanich tegens het hangh van sijn buijck omtrent sijn mannelijckh:[ei]t te werpen, dat desselfe blaes gebarsten sijnde, meergenoemde Claes daer van des nachts tusschen den elfden ende twaelfden den selven maent desen werelt is overleden.

Het welcke inder daet een notoiren manslach is gevangene in Euvelen gemoede begaen waer jegens Jodes Recht vaerdige g’booden wel strickelijck gebieden, dat die sijn even naesten dood, wederom door saxenschten handene gedoodt sal werden, sulcx tot af weeringe van Godes ‘t hooren die daer om over sted oude kamden ontsteekt, tot afschrick van andere op’t rigour eerste mael ende behoort te werden gestraft.

Soo ist dat welgemelten achtbaren Raade ten daege dienende gehoort ende gesien den eijsch ende concensie ad mortem op ende jegens de gevangene gedaen ende genome a:[l]daer beneffens haere vrije willige bekentenis weders op alle gele ende geconsidereert hebbende watter materie was dienende ende haer E.[dele] achtb:[are]n mochte moveren, doende recht uijt den naem end van wegen d’Hoogh mogende heeren staaten generael den vrije vereenichde Nederlanden condemneeren de gevangene approbatie van d’ Ed.[el] en heer gouverneren generael ende d’E:[dele] Heeren Raad van India gebracht te werden ter plaets daer men gewoon is criminele sententies t’executeren, aldaer den scherprechter over geleven, den een pael gebonden ende met een coorde soodanich gewurcht te worden, datten de dood na volcht met confiscatie haer den goederen teverdeelen als gebruijckelijck, d’oncosten alvoorens afgetrocken sijnde.

Aldus g’arresteert ende gesententieert op den 16den November 1656 mitsgaders gepronunchieert ende g’executeert op den 18den daer aenvolgende, was geteeckent Joan Cuneus, Dirck Janssen Steur, Johannes Burgers, L.P. Vernattij, Joh:[an] van Dam, Jacob Cau, H:[endrik] Bogaert onderstont mij present ende was geteeckent Vincent van Work.

Groote Catrijn’ s Pardon

PARDON

Hoewel het Criminele vonnis van de Achtbaren Raade van Justitie deses Casteels waernbij seekere slavinne van eene Maria Magdalena genaamt Catharina van Mallebaer ten oorsaeck sij seekeren slaefe van Comp:[agnie]s stalm:[eeste]r Hendrick Christoffel Leser gegeeve Claes van Mallebaer in hevigen woede met een keijsteen werpende soodanich uit nedersche deel sijnes buijcx heeft getroffen, datten de doot dien vierden dach daer aen op gevolcht sij gecondemneert is aen een pael ten doode geworght te werden, wel ende te rechte sij gevelt, gelijck dan  voorn:[oemd]e delinquanten nie gereet staet om daerop de straffe des doods t’ontfangen.

Soo ist nochtans dat wij considererende dat geseijde misdadige d’aen getogen doodslach weens bij ongeluck als op gesette boosheijt begaen, immers geen voornemen of intentie gehadt heeft om te dooden, daer door bewogen sijn gewonden de bowen gemelte sententie te altereren en de te versachten, soodanich dat wij preferenende mede doogen gou ende gratie voor de strengheijt van het recht de meer genoemde delinquant Catharina, goed gevonden hebben te pardonneren ende te bevrijden van de dood, gelijckt bij doen bij desen, mits daer in plaetse van dien meede eerste gelegentheijt sal werden versonden na de Caep de Boa Esperance, om aldaer tot het eijnde haren levens toe gebannen te blijven ende als Comp:[agnie]s lijffeigene slaven dienst te doen, op welck ons pardon en gratie nochtans niemant in toecomende te sondigen noch te sigh te verlaeten heeft.

Gegeven in’t Casteel Bat:[avi]a den 18:[d]e Novemb:[er] anno 1656 was geteeckent Joan Maetsuycker

G’extrakeert uijt Sententiebouck van den acht:[baer]e Raet van Justitie des Casteels Bata:[via]s naer gedane collatie is dese daermede runende bevonden t’accorderen Bat:[avi]a den 25 Novemb[e]r: 1656

Bij mij [signed] Vincent van Work

Secret[ari]s:

Mission Accomplished – the author (Jakarta 2009)

Thunberg on the Cape of Good Hope’s Developmental Prospects …

An early inquisitive (self-righteously prescriptive?) Swede`s prognosis and panacea for `developing` Dutch South Africa and their colony at the Cape of Good Hope

“In this second volume I have finished the relation of my three years residence at the Cape, having displayed the advantages which that country possesses with respect to climate, and to the improvements it has received in consequence of cultivation; and, at the same time, give some account of the poor and much to be lamented natives, who pass their lives in the most simple and artless manner, scarcely differing from the wild beasts with which they are intermixed, without arts and sciences, or any useful institutions; without connexion with any other than their nearest neighbours, who are equally ignorant with themselves, without either commerce or war with their more remote neighbours; without the least knowledge, or even idea, of the magnitude of the earth, its external appearance and nature, or of the celestial bodies which give them light, and yet pass almost unnoticed over their stupid heads.

The colony, which receives a daily increase from the Europeans, is even now very considerable, and it is in consequence of their attention and industry that several spots in it already resemble an earthly paradise, and that the country produces almost every thing that is necessary for the support of life.

Nevertheless, many advantages of which Europe can boast, are here still wanting.

This country has no lakes, no navigable rivers, no other fisheries than those that are near the shores of the ocean, or the mouths of rivers; no woods of any consequence or real utility, not even one pleasant grove; no verdant nor flowry meadows, no chalk hills; no metals worth the labour of extracting them from the ore, no looms nor manufacture; no universities nor schools; no post-horses nor inns; nay, in so extensive a country as this, there are still, in many places, wanting both judge and courts of judicature, both clergy and churches, both rain from the heavens and springs in the earth, with many useful and indispensably necessary institutions, which both now and hereafter may merit the consideration and care of a well-informed and prudent government.

It should always be the constant concern of a sensible government to share its regard between the commercial interests of the Company and the future welfare of the Colony, so that in time the Colonists, spread as they are over the country, parted from the town, the church and contact with fellow men, should not deteriorate to an excess of idleness, ignorance, godlessness, objectionable customs and such wretchedness that they would ultimately come more to resemble the aboriginal inhabitants of the country than the race from whence they themselves originated.

It should always be the intention of a sensible government so to guard its scattered Christian flock in a foreign country, that the transplantation of a people is done in such a way that it is of the highest credit to our time and our generation, and not degenerate so as in the future to become for it a shameful reproach.

Should this new settlement, which is still privately owned by the Dutch East India Company, and the land, which is on loan from the Company to the Colonists, in time be acquired by the Colonists together with greater liberty, there is no doubt that this country could develop to still greater prosperity, esteem and strength through more useful arrangements within the country: by free sea-trade and extension of trade along its own coasts, together with increased export of its own produce in exchange for other wares necessary for the country.”

Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828), Travels at the Cape of Good Hope 1772-1775, Preface to Vol. II (English Edition 1793)

The TWO faces of Krotoa …

The TWO faces of Krotoa …

by Mansell Upham

“Kaffer Girl” (anonymous) by Samuel Daniell (1775-1811)

Ever wondered about the origins of the two portraits most often propagted to portray, represent, even mirepresent Eva Meerhoff (c. 1643-1674), born Krotoa of the Goringhaicona?

The earlier portrait – later featured on the cover of Trudie Bloem`s novel Krotoa-Eva, The Woman from Robben Island (Kwela Books 1999) – derives from a picture (artist unknown) originally featured in P.W. Laidler`s book, Growth and Government of Cape Town, Cape Town 1939: Chapter 3 “Women” pp. 38-49. For Eva and her alleged portrait, see the illustration no. 2, p. 493.

The later portrait (featured on her commemorative stamp and the renamed Krotoa Place in St George`s Mall, Cape Town – but minus the exposed boob – derives from a sketch by Samuel Daniell (1775-1811) entitled “Kaffer Girl” …

Lt. Lawrence Frank Milner (1892-1915)

Killed in action (25 September 1915) … Lt. Lawrence Frank Milner (1892-1915)

Biography of my maternal great-grandfather Bob Dale`s double 2nd cousin who was one of the many sacrifices to the `Great War` (1914-1918) …

Lawrence Frank Milner born 17 October 1893; educated Merchant Taylor’s School, Crosby & at Merton College, Oxford 1913; member of Oxford University O.T.C.; lieutenant King’s (Liverpool) Regiment , 9th Batt. (T/F.); killed in action 25 September 1915 near Loos; buried near “Lone Tree”, Sunday 26 September 1915 within a few yards of where he fell.

His mother and my great-great-granny Gertrude Dale, born Brown (1851-1927) were double 1st cousins.

Gertrude Dale, born Brown (1851-1927)

Their parents were Thomas Rigby and Louisa Brown and John Bailey Brown (born Dublin, Ireland 1820) and Maria Rigby (born Newgate House, Upholland, Lancashire, England 1830), respectively.

The Lancashire-born Thomas and Maria Rigby were siblings as were the Dublin-born Louisa and John Bailey Brown.

John Bailey Brown

The descendants of Maria Rigby and John Bailey Brown are to be found in South Africa, Rhodesia [Zimbabwe], Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Maria Rigby

Lawrence Milner, born on 17th October 1892 in Crosby, Liverpool, was the younger son of Christopher Shepherd Milner and Agnes, née Rigby, of Bowscale, Linden Avenue, Blundellsands, Liverpool.

He was educated at Ballure House prep school and, with a Harrison Scholarship, at Merchant Taylors’ School, Crosby, where he played for the rugby XV in the 1910-11 season and was made Head Boy in 1910. He took second class honours in Classical Mods in 1913.

He enlisted as soon as war broke out and was granted a commission as 2nd Lieutenant on 22nd August 1914, being posted to the 1/9th Battalion King’s (Liverpool Regiment) which moved to Tunbridge Wells in October for training. When training was complete, they moved to France landing at Le Havre on 13th March 1915, becoming part of the 1st Division. In the May after their arrival in France, the battalion took part in the failed Battle of Aubers Ridge. They then spent time in reserve before training for their next attack in the Battle of Loos.

It was during this engagement that Lawrence was killed, on 25th September 1915. A fellow solider, another Merchant Taylors Old Boy, reported seeing him binding the wounds of his orderly who was shot a few moments earlier. Lawrence was kneeling in tall grass about 300 yards from the enemy trenches when he was shot in the head. He died about half an hour later, aged 22.

He was buried near Lone Tree within a few yards of where he fell, but his grave was subsequently lost and he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, and on a stained glass window at St Mary the Virgin Church, Waterloo Park, Liverpool.

Sir John Cradock (1759 – 1839) – Cape Governor and Land Reformer …

by Mansell Upham

General John Francis Cradock, 1st Baron Howden GCB (11 August 1759-26 July 1839)

Appointed (1811) governor of Cape Colony and commander of the forces on that station, resigning (1814) and succeeded by Lord Charles Somerset after vigorously defending the colony’s Eastern borders and launching attacks on the encroaching AmaXhosa.

He actively encourages his predecessor Lord Caledon’s newly instituted circuit courts to extend ‘equal justice’ and ‘equal protection’ to all classes of people within the colony.

He radically ‘reforms’ the land registration system by introducing (1813) the ‘quitrent system’ whereby loan farms are to be limited in size, converted into perpetual quitrent with dramatically raised land rentals and alienation of parts thereof only possible after each farm is properly surveyed (a costly procedure) …

These reforms ultimately provide greater access to private land ownership to less wealthy individuals but which initially create in some areas the unprecedented environmentally calamitous exodus of poor and marginal folk (poor Whites, Bastaards and remnant Khoekhoe) into unsurveyed and unallocated land. The town Cradock is named after him …

“… We are to bear in view, that in the dispensation of Justice, no distinction is to be admitted – whether the Complainant arise with the Man of wealth, or the poor Man, the Master, or the slave, the Christian or the Hottentot; the same patient and equal attention is to be paid to the representation, and the most careful inquiry is to ensure that unbiased justice follow, I will not entertain the doubt … It is the uncontrolled severity of the Powerful over the Weak, so difficult to describe – it is nameless Tyranny of the strong over the defenceless and the thousand means that the spirit of oppression can employ, and for which I cannot recount, that fill me with more solicitude, for such prosecutions evade the direct Interposition of the Law, and are alone to be remedied by the energy of an active and enlightened magistrate, intent to advance the progress of true religion and Christianity …”

– Letter from Sir John Cradock to Landdrost Hendrik van de Graaf, 20 April 1812 as quoted in Nigel Penn, Murderers, Miscreants and Mutineers, pp. 136-137 (2015)

Krotoa Place

by Mansell Upham

“These benches were at Krotoa Place, the small square at the intersection of Cape Town’s Castle Street and St George’s Mall.”

How many people are aware that this very site adjoins the original grant of land given to the freed private slave, Angela / Engela (Maaij Ansela) van Bengale aka Moeder Jagt, who later married the free-burgher Arnoldus Willemsz: Basson (from Wesel in the Duchy of Cleves)?

She has the distinction of being the 4th slave to be formally freed at the Cape of Good Hope, the 1st slave woman to be freed without being legally bound to a man and the 1st woman to be granted land in her own right.

The erf was granted (25 February 1667) and later transferred (1718) by Moeder Jagt to the husband, Gijsbert le Febre (1690-1743/4) from Overchie, of her granddaughter Catharina van der Sande (born 1700) … being the maternal grandparents of the Leiden University-educated opperhoofd Gijsbert Hemmij (1746-1798) who died at Kakegawa in Shizuoka, Japan.

Diagonally opposite Angela`s property was the site of the property purchased by multiple ancestor, the Cape-born mestiço Christoffel Snijman`s step-father, the freed slave Anthonij Jansz: van Bengale.

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